18 September 2015 | horrorinpureform
I want a slasher revival to happen so bad. This is not helping the cause.
After having just seen the other Oz Perkins-written 2015 horror film February, and adoring it, I was hoping for a similarly well-crafted film here, with a nuanced screenplay which dares to contribute to the horror genre in new ways. Got the opposite - an extremely low-concept, poor execution slasher. I hope he follows the path of that other film in the future.
A grocery store checkout clerk keeps having mysterious photographs of murdered and mutilated women left for her to find around her workplace and other locations. Seven of them so far. The cops think it is "art" so they don't bother doing absolutely anything about it (what?) at any point, even after the girl is stalked (what?). Then some famous photographer and his posse of models comes to town because he's "inspired" by these photographs, and wants to recreate them. Then slasher.
I'll just get the biggest problem out of the way - this slasher has absolutely zero tension. I feel like it tries to heavily borrow from better films, but achieves only lifeless recreations which fail to understand how to create tension. Most obviously this was clearly inspired by the Strangers, down to the masks. So expect a LOT of scenes that make zero sense if examined from a "why would anyone do this other than for the camera" perspective. Like the villains just lurking randomly in the background and appearing and disappearing and so on and so forth. On top of that, the setups are SO common that the viewer is always five seconds ahead of the characters in peril - you will be able to, with 100% accuracy, predict every single time a villain will appear and disappear in the background. Every, single, time.
The characters were supposed to be funny (I think), but weren't my cup of tea. The secondary cast were decent actors, just not given much to work with. The main actress just looked annoyed throughout the entire film. Her range was "very angry" to "only moderately angry". The villains were just awful. Were they going for farcical? They seemed to do random creepy things for the sake of it. It was just an amalgamation of one dimensional "gross" ideas to try to convince us of how deranged the characters are, which just made them comical and a parody.
The nail in the coffin was the final scene."Horror 101", obvious from the beginning, standard "last chill". This movie did not take itself seriously at all and it did not bode well for the concept. It wouldn't be a bad concept if developed further, but should have tried for a serious and tense tone, because it could have been far more interesting.
Upsides? Decent gore, and two or three funny lines hanging on for dear life in an otherwise mostly-witless sea of dialogue.